ZELLA COMPTON: Southgate scores for the inner-dapper in every gent

Playing a dapper blinder - the Peakies' influence has rubbed off on Gareth SouthgatePlaying a dapper blinder - the Peakies' influence has rubbed off on Gareth Southgate
Playing a dapper blinder - the Peakies' influence has rubbed off on Gareth Southgate
I have a confession to make. I adore Gareth Southgate.Â

It's not for the reasons that the nation might be thinking. Nope, it's for bringing the waistcoat back into the mainstream.

Long since relegated to dandies and weddings, it's a well overdue resurgence for this simple garment.

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There's something about the figure-hugging symmetry of it all, the reveal of the muscular arms, the nip and tuck in at the waist. A man wearing a waistcoat is saying something about himself.

I suspect that every Peaky Blinders watching male will be cheering Gareth on from the fashion sidelines as he scores an immense goal for the inner-dapper in every gent.

It's so hard isn't it, when you see something on the telly and want to bring that fashion into your own life, but secretly despair as to whether you can pull it off, whether everyone will know where you got it from and take the proverbial?  Most men aren't ready to make that move out of the box. They've been waiting for a leader. And here he is, stepping up, Mr Southgate.

My husband recently sported a waistcoat at a Peaky event, and let me tell you, he looked the bees knees. I was more than keen for him to bring it mainstream.

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Sadly my enthusiasm couldn't persuade him to take the transitional leap from fancy dress to real life. But now, Gareth has given the nation a gift, and I am encouraging every man and woman to embrace it in full.

Women, buy your man a figure-hugging double-breasted number, or men take the challenge and find your own. They work whatever your size, and go with jeans (yes, it's true) as well as formal wear. In fact, let's get the party started on Sunday when we make it through tonight '“ oh the exquisite agony '“ and throw out those baggyboy oversized kit replicas.

Let's go classy with waistcoats and show the world we're not a nation of boys rolling up suit trousers and wearing invisible socks with work shoes, instead we're a nation stuffed full with real, waistcoated, men.


Hands up if you like living on the Costa del Sol '“ ent?

Haven't the past few weeks been glorious? As much as I have my moments of frustration about living in Gosport, or travelling in Portsmouth, we are so incredibly blessed with warm clean(ish) waters and great sea swimming.

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But as ever there are a few who are spoiling it for the rest of us with a cavalier attitude to their litter.

And though it's easy for me to say they should take it home (we all know this), it's perhaps better for all of us if we'd pick up a few bits and keep our lovely beaches clean.

No, it's not our job, and yes, people should be responsible. But they aren't, so we need to carry on leading by example.



A couple of weeks ago we were celebrating women finally having the right to drive in Saudi Arabia.

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This week the national papers are stuffed full of the news of the girls arrested in Iran for dancing. Yes, dancing.

Sometimes the world feels like such an amazing place, with kindness and compassion at every turn, and then sometimes the zealots rise again and there's a collective step backwards.

So what if females dance? So what if they post pictures on Instagram? Every rule that is broken has been constructed out of the ether.

I am still no closer to understanding the need to oppress young women, any women, or the desire for obedience and the forcing of opinion through terror.

Perhaps one day the zealots will have a dance epiphany, but I somehow doubt that.


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